MOSCOW - Russia swung from a budget surplus to a deficit last year, officials said Tuesday, as authorities boost defense spending amid Moscow's assault on Ukraine.
The deficit reached 3.3 trillion rubles ($47 billion), or 2.3 percent of gross domestic product, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told a government meeting.
Russia ran a budget surplus in 2021.
Siluanov said that compared to 2021, state spending increased by more than six trillion rubles, adding that the expenses "were mainly aimed at helping the population."
The Russian government has allocated funds to support the families of troops fighting Ukraine, as well as companies hit by a partial military mobilization announced in September.
Last year revenues surpassed government estimates by 2.8 trillion rubles, Siluanov said.
He said that additional revenues came from the sale of oil and gas due to an increase in energy prices after the beginning of the offensive on February 24.
The deficit for 2023 is forecast to amount to two percent of the GDP.
Analysts estimate that Russia plans to spend about a third of its total budget on defense and security this year.